California Fox Body Owners- Need Help With Smog Check!

anacortesian

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Apr 3, 2018
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New here...so please bear with me. Tried to post this before but may have been lost. Got this CA Inspection issue and really need some experienced advice as I'm moving to Ocean Side CA from WA State (with no smog checks on a 1989 car). Before I tow my car down there ...I know you CA guys will know the deal with this.
My Car: 1989 Mustang LX 5.0 / 5 speed. Completely stock except for some engine modifications that I made myself a few of years ago . They are simply: An Explorer manifold, a K&N filter (inside the stock box). 65mm throttle body (unbranded but also polished) (I left the PVC and ERG alone thank God) Unbranded shorty headers, Summit H-pipe, and (not too loud) chamber Magnaflows. So "I thought" all I have to do is buy the 4 cats for the car, clamp them on where I remember they go, Replace the smog pump and I'm done. Since the engine is not all tricked out really..."I'm thinking the visual" should be no big deal right? As long as I pass the sniffer test on the dyno...I should pass right? ...But I have no C.A.R.B. numbers on any parts. ANY experienced advice on this subject would be most appreciative.
 
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Noobz347

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You are going to need a stock replacement H-pipe, new O2 sensors, and have no codes spitting out.

If you have a 'tuning chip' of any kind, it should probably not be there.


This is one of the very few H-pipes out there that I am aware of that is CARB Compliant. There are many others that say that they are "Emissions Legal" but they are referring to Federal emissions.
https://www.carid.com/1989-ford-mus...r-380823216.html?parentsubmodel[]=ENGINE|5.0L

Your headers may also be a problem. You may want to look into a set that is CA/CARB legal.

You need to buy yourself a cheap OBD2 code reader from Amazon and make sure all the little emissions doo-hickeys work.

TAB and TAD solenoids are a bitch. Your EGR is likely clogged and may be malfunctioning and you'd never know it.

When you get to Oceanside, look for a hole-in-the-wall burrito place call either "Albertos" or "Robertos". Doesn't matter which.
Get their Carne-Asada Burrito with everything on it. You'll also need two tubs of their hot sauce. :drool:
 

jrichker

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Dump the codes: Codes may be present even if the Check Engine Light (CEL) isn't on.

Dumping the computer diagnostic codes on 86-95 Mustangs

Revised 26-July-2011. Added need to make sure the clutch is pressed when dumping codes.

Codes may be present even if the check engine light hasn’t come on, so be sure to check for them.

Here's the way to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

Post the codes you get and I will post 86-93 model 5.0 Mustang specific code definitions and fixes. I do not have a complete listing for 94-95 model 5.0 Mustangs at this time.

Be sure to turn off the A/C, and put the transmission in neutral when dumping the codes. On a manual transmission car, be sure to press the clutch to the floor.
Fail to do this and you will generate a code 67 and not be able to dump the Engine Running codes.

Foxbody Diagnostic connector



Foxbody Diagnostic connector close up view




If your car is an 86-88 stang, you'll have to use the test lamp or voltmeter method. There is no functional check engine light on the 86-88's except possibly the Cali Mass Air cars.




The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.

89 through 95 cars have a working Check Engine light. Watch it instead of using a test lamp.




The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.


WARNING!!! There is a single dark brown connector with a black/orange wire. It is the 12 volt power to the under the hood light. Do not jumper it to the computer test connector. If you do, you will damage the computer.

What to expect:
You should get a code 11 (two single flashes in succession). This says that the computer's internal workings are OK, and that the wiring to put the computer into diagnostic mode is good. No code 11 and you have some wiring problems. This is crucial: the same wire that provides the ground to dump the codes provides signal ground for the TPS, EGR, ACT and Map/Baro sensors. If it fails, you will have poor performance, economy and driveablity problems

Some codes have different answers if the engine is running from the answers that it has when the engine isn't running. It helps a lot to know if you had the engine running when you ran the test.

Dumping the Engine Running codes: The procedure is the same, you start the engine with the test jumper in place. Be sure the A/C is off, and clutch (if present) is pressed to the floor, and the transmission is in neutral. You'll get an 11, then a 4 and the engine will speed up to do the EGR test. After the engine speed decreases back to idle, it will dump the engine running codes.

Trouble codes are either 2 digit or 3 digit, there are no cars that use both 2 digit codes and 3 digit codes.

Your 86-88 5.0 won't have a working Check Engine Light, so you'll need a test light.
See AutoZone Part Number: 25886 , $10

4.jpg


Alternate methods:
For those who are intimidated by all the wires & connections, see Actron® for what a typical hand scanner looks like. Normal retail price is about $30 or so at AutoZone or Wal-Mart.

Reader/dp/B000EW0KHW Equus - Digital Ford Code Reader 3145.
Or for a nicer scanner see www.midwayautosupply.com/Equus-Digital-Ford-Code-It has a 3 digit LCD display so that you don’t have to count flashes or beeps.. Cost is $22-$36.

Order it at Walmart for a better price and free shipping

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Noobz347

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Yep... They get you by the nads for those pieces only because they can. Well, that and the all pain they went through to get the thing certified for use.
 

anacortesian

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NOOBZ347 and JRICHKER and 2000XB8

Your all quite a bit more experienced with what I'm trying to do here...but I mean we're talking about dumping $1200+ into a perfectly fine running car. I'm still trying to grapple with that...If I knew then what I know now. I never would have changed anything on the f***ing engine. But anyway...

NOOBZ347- I think you've even blogged about this subject in the past on this site, and I looked at your link to the C.A.R.B. H pipe ($900) ...but you know ... that diagram looks like an X design...though it is 2 1/2" width (the original fox pipe was an H design @ 2 1/4" width actually). But who's checking. So okay...my pipe now is 2 1/2". I see on line two front and two rear C.A.R.B. CA compliant cats from Magnaflow (about $600 ). My thought was to get them welded in the correct places and replace the smog pump and it's connections to them. There are no rear OX sensors on the '89...but there's the front two, which are there and functioning (I assume) because I never get any check lights. I can't change the headers. Please. They are almost the same damn size as the originals...just mandrel bent instead of pinched. And they just painted grey. What do you think?

JRICHKER- I got a lot to learn about about scanners and decoding the car...as (I thought) a battery disconnect (when the car is shut off obviously) was a complete reset for the computer. I also need to understand "tune" better. This car has no changes made to the computer. And I want to be careful with wiring...I'm trying to remember that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

and 2000XP8- I guess I'm in for the long haul. What's the sense of selling the car...and then having to buy another. The car just turned 100K. Mostly highway miles. Excellent physical condition. Which is more than I can say for myself. And (I assume) is going to appreciate going forward... They don't inspect a 1989 car here in WA State. That's what got me into trouble in the first place. But I'm a man. I can change. If I have to. I guess. (Red-Green).
 

Noobz347

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Your all quite a bit more experienced with what I'm trying to do here...but I mean we're talking about dumping $1200+ into a perfectly fine running car. I'm still trying to grapple with that...If I knew then what I know now. I never would have changed anything on the f***ing engine. But anyway...
Believe me I know that it's a hard pill to swallow. I'm retired active duty and took my cars with me when we moved place to place. It's hard spending money on stuff that costs more and doesn't provide as much performance.


NOOBZ347- I think you've even blogged about this subject in the past on this site, and I looked at your link to the C.A.R.B. H pipe ($900) ...but you know ... that diagram looks like an X design...though it is 2 1/2" width (the original fox pipe was an H design @ 2 1/4" width actually). But who's checking. So okay...my pipe now is 2 1/2". I see on line two front and two rear C.A.R.B. CA compliant cats from Magnaflow (about $600 ). My thought was to get them welded in the correct places and replace the smog pump and it's connections to them. There are no rear OX sensors on the '89...but there's the front two, which are there and functioning (I assume) because I never get any check lights. I can't change the headers. Please. They are almost the same damn size as the originals...just mandrel bent instead of pinched. And they just painted grey. What do you think?

This is likely not going to work. If they think that your H-pipe is the least bit fishy then they're going to begin looking for tags. The pipe that I showed you may not be a replica of the original but it has it's own documentation proving that it is a CARB acceptable replacement. The best way to go about this whole thing "cheaply" would be hit the internet hard and look for an OEM H-pipe in decent condition from a private sale or junk yard.
 

2000xp8

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I'm a high quality parts guy.
When you buy quality exhaust parts they usually last forever.
When you buy junk or cobble things together not only could it not work right, it could very well fall apart.

I'm also a big fan of exhausts made from stainless.
For the most part they are indestructible.

If you have an offroad pipe on the car, technically it isn't running right.
I have nothing against offroad pipes, I've done it pretty much forever, but regardless of where you live and what they inspect, it's still wrong.

If you like how the car sounds and you plan on more performance in the future, i'd buy that magnaflow offroad x pipe (assuming lmr's info on carb is correct).
If adding cats is strictly about meeting California standards on a budget and is not performance related, i'd do as noobz said and find a stock pipe (if you can).
 

anacortesian

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Apr 3, 2018
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I'm a high quality parts guy.
When you buy quality exhaust parts they usually last forever.
When you buy junk or cobble things together not only could it not work right, it could very well fall apart.

I'm also a big fan of exhausts made from stainless.
For the most part they are indestructible.

If you have an offroad pipe on the car, technically it isn't running right.
I have nothing against offroad pipes, I've done it pretty much forever, but regardless of where you live and what they inspect, it's still wrong.

If you like how the car sounds and you plan on more performance in the future, i'd buy that magnaflow offroad x pipe (assuming lmr's info on carb is correct).
If adding cats is strictly about meeting California standards on a budget and is not performance related, i'd do as noobz said and find a stock pipe (if you can).

No I know NOOBZ347 suggestion is the safe way to go... but I'm also not made of money. So if I have the proper cats (with their documentation) welded onto my (essentially the same H-pipe original configuration). They are just going to have to accept me for who I am! I'm trying to follow their standard. I will have to explain to the "Star", "Referee", DMV, cops or whoever... that quite frankly There IS NO DAMN ORIGONAL H-pipe around anymore for this 30 YEAR OLD PLUS CAR! And if I can passed the "sniffer" THEN I HAVE PASSED THE SNIFFER! If everything else on the car looks okay...THEN IT LOOKS OKAY! Now give me that G-DAMN stiker and I'll see ya in two years. And another thing. Thank God I have a year driving on my WA State tabs before they can play this F***ing game with me. I hope I like CA for all the other reasons that make it a great state. So I can justify this stuff in my brain.

You know what? used to be a 30 year exemption down there, like here, and it was Arnold that changed that. Yeah sitting in his frigging Hummer...he want's to talk about environment? Why did people vote for that guy is beyond me...but I digress.
 

Noobz347

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No I know NOOBZ347 suggestion is the safe way to go... but I'm also not made of money. So if I have the proper cats (with their documentation) welded onto my (essentially the same H-pipe original configuration). They are just going to have to accept me for who I am! I'm trying to follow their standard. I will have to explain to the "Star", "Referee", DMV, cops or whoever... that quite frankly There IS NO DAMN ORIGONAL H-pipe around anymore for this 30 YEAR OLD PLUS CAR! And if I can passed the "sniffer" THEN I HAVE PASSED THE SNIFFER! If everything else on the car looks okay...THEN IT LOOKS OKAY! Now give me that G-DAMN stiker and I'll see ya in two years. And another thing. Thank God I have a year driving on my WA State tabs before they can play this F***ing game with me. I hope I like CA for all the other reasons that make it a great state. So I can justify this stuff in my brain.

You know what? used to be a 30 year exemption down there, like here, and it was Arnold that changed that. Yeah sitting in his frigging Hummer...he want's to talk about environment? Why did people vote for that guy is beyond me...but I digress.

The exemption requires that you have all of the factory parts.

Is this your only car? If not, why not just take it down there, run it through a lane, and just fix what they tell you to fix while preparing for the worst? You will probably spend the [least] amount of money in this way.
 
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2000xp8

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No I know NOOBZ347 suggestion is the safe way to go... but I'm also not made of money. So if I have the proper cats (with their documentation) welded onto my (essentially the same H-pipe original configuration). They are just going to have to accept me for who I am! I'm trying to follow their standard. I will have to explain to the "Star", "Referee", DMV, cops or whoever... that quite frankly There IS NO DAMN ORIGONAL H-pipe around anymore for this 30 YEAR OLD PLUS CAR! And if I can passed the "sniffer" THEN I HAVE PASSED THE SNIFFER! If everything else on the car looks okay...THEN IT LOOKS OKAY! Now give me that G-DAMN stiker and I'll see ya in two years. And another thing. Thank God I have a year driving on my WA State tabs before they can play this F***ing game with me. I hope I like CA for all the other reasons that make it a great state. So I can justify this stuff in my brain.

You know what? used to be a 30 year exemption down there, like here, and it was Arnold that changed that. Yeah sitting in his frigging Hummer...he want's to talk about environment? Why did people vote for that guy is beyond me...but I digress.

If i'm reading your other post right, you were considering $600 worth of cats already then having them welded on?
If that's the case, while I know it will cost more, you will really be too close to the cost of the real pipe by the time you are done.
I've also found over time and experience that the work that local muffler shops do is substandard to say the least, especially on aluminized pipe. It won't be if it comes apart, it will be when.
 

anacortesian

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If i'm reading your other post right, you were considering $600 worth of cats already then having them welded on?
If that's the case, while I know it will cost more, you will really be too close to the cost of the real pipe by the time you are done.
I've also found over time and experience that the work that local muffler shops do is substandard to say the least, especially on aluminized pipe. It won't be if it comes apart, it will be when.


Yeah your right (maybe I can sell my old H pipe on ebay)... but you know? ...what the hell happens if you can't pass? Now you can't drive the car... and unless I'm mistaken, I don't know if you can even sell the car? (don't tell me they come and take the car and your 1st born away from you and try to scrap it). What happens to all the other guys in this nightmare?
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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With the mild near stock setup you have stock h pipe with cats won't hurt you any. I believe you can run an aftermarket after cat system with no penalty. I think that tb may be a sticking point too but not sure. I just skimmed over the cdmv smog rules and it is kinda confusing, I would contact a smog test site and talk to them.
pm me if your interested in a stock h pipe.
 

anacortesian

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Apr 3, 2018
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With the mild near stock setup you have stock h pipe with cats won't hurt you any. I believe you can run an aftermarket after cat system with no penalty. I think that tb may be a sticking point too but not sure. I just skimmed over the cdmv smog rules and it is kinda confusing, I would contact a smog test site and talk to them.
pm me if your interested in a stock h pipe.
 

anacortesian

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Apr 3, 2018
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I tossed the factory headers when I redid the exhaust (they were 2 1/4") Anything exhaust you buy now for that car is a 2 1/2" . Which is interesting why the stock was not 2 1/2" to begin with (Ford probably trying to save money on materials) But your advise is encouraging at least...I figure If your in CA and you've got a stock H pipe sitting around...that means somebody down there has an after market exhaust and they must have passed!
 

anacortesian

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The exemption requires that you have all of the factory parts.

Is this your only car? If not, why not just take it down there, run it through a lane, and just fix what they tell you to fix while preparing for the worst? You will probably spend the [least] amount of money in this way.

No we have my wife's Subaru (no problem there with that car). And your suggestion is probably the one I'll have to try. But it would be really crazy to pull in to the lane with NO cat's at all...they would probably simply refuse to even test it...then (the way I understand it) they send you to the "referee" station where they simply just take you out back of the test site and shoot you for no cats. Graves already dug and everything. Seems I should at least make the first attempt be a sincere one.

And just to add:
Thought I'd post some bay pics on this...so you see what the test tech would see on this car. Your simply looking at an '89 5.0 with an explorer intake, polished 65mm throttle body with ERG, short headers, and there's a K&N filter inside the stock box. That's it (please don't tell me they want to hassle opening the box). Obviously the smog pump needs to go back, I have the distributor cover... and the coil cover...but guess what...I don't know where the VECI (emissions sticker) went. Being under suspicion with an out-of-state car already...is the missing sticker another new problem? I would have no idea where to get another.
 

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RodolfoJr

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Hello....this is my first time here so plz bare with me.....my 2000gt didn't pass the smog and they send me to the referee...now I wanted to know if there is anywhere I could go to see if they could pass it for me or it it a lost cause and I'm gonna have to put it stock....I know it has no catalytic....
My bad if I sound like a loser is that is my husband's account and I want him to get his car fix so I could have my truck bak
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Hello....this is my first time here so plz bare with me.....my 2000gt didn't pass the smog and they send me to the referee...now I wanted to know if there is anywhere I could go to see if they could pass it for me or it it a lost cause and I'm gonna have to put it stock....I know it has no catalytic....
My bad if I sound like a loser is that is my husband's account and I want him to get his car fix so I could have my truck bak
post this in the 96-04 sn 95 forums, there are members there that will be familiar with that year,